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SOCIAL LIFE   185

that he could afford. I agreed to join him. We worked hard to prepare ourselves, and made a large sketch map, on which notes of every important traveller bearing on the part in which we were interested were entered at the locality they referred to. I t was desirable for him to have some experience in surveying, and as I was going to the Isle of Wight, we agreed to practise there. The first and only attempt had an absurd ending. We found a strongly railed field suitable for a commencement, into which we got by climbing the fence, and prepared to unpack, not particularly noticing the cattle in it; but one of them was a bull, who, after the manner of such animals, advanced in so threatening and determined a manner that we had to retreat from the brute as best we could.

This proved to be the end of our joint experiments, for I was taken ill with what seemed at first to be only a very bad sore throat, but which developed into a singular form of quinsy of a dangerous character. My old friends, Mr. Hodgson and Dr. Todd, were unremitting in their attentions, and told me afterwards that they were on the point of having my windpipe opened, as I was nearly suffocating. At last, an abscess which was situated in a gland on the upper surface of the tongue, but far back near its root, broke, and I breathed freely. I was soon able to swallow, and gradually became convalescent, but Mr. H odgson peremptorily forbade further thoughts of Sinai. I shall have to refer again to W. Spottiswoode.

It has happened to me more than once to be nearly suffocated, and to have been surprised at the absence of that gasping desire for air that one feels when the